Owing to the population in the urban areas and the poor road infrastructure, it only makes sense to drive an automatic car for the ease of the driver. However, manual cars are a more popular choice for solely two reasons – first being the fun in driving and the second being a significant cost difference between the manual and the automatic car. In a manual car, the driver has to have the perfect reflexes over the control on the gear lever, clutch and the accelerator. In case, there is any mistake in the timing or the co-ordination, it could damage your car. We are here to tell you five most common and biggest mistakes that you could do while operating a car with a manual gear lever.
Using the clutch pedal wrongly
Most of us pick up bad habits while learning to drive and it remains with us for the rest of our life. Not giving enough attention to how you are using the clutch can go horribly wrong and shorten the life of the clutch. Out of habit, many drivers only press the clutch pedal halfway to change the gear. It should be noted that the clutch is the only link between the engine and the transmission. Pressing it only halfway will partially disengage the clutchplate and it will cause it to wear off quicker. This is why you have to ensure that the clutch pedal is completely pressed while shifting gears.
Using clutch pedal and a dead pedal
Many manual cars in mass-segment do not offer a dead pedal. This is why many people start keeping their left foot on the clutch pedal itself. Clutch pedals can be sensitive, especially the light clutch pedals available with the petrol cars. Any pressure on them can partially engage them, which causes unnecessary wear and tear to the clutch. Diesel cars have slightly harder clutch compared to the petrol models but still, drivers should not keep the foot on the clutch pedal after using it. It is always a good idea to practice keeping the foot on the floor if there’s no dead pedal in the car.
Gear lever as an armrest
Giving rest to your left hand and keeping it on the gear lever may seem like an unharmful way of giving rest to the hand. However, there are many ball bearings and springs that lie underneath and putting a constant pressure can damage these. It can reduce the life of the transmission significantly and it costs a lot. You can always invest in an aftermarket armrest for your car.
Putting reverse gear when the car is moving forward
Many of us have done this or have seen people doing this. The reverse gear uses a different gear that changes the direction of the vehicle. The small idler gear comes into play whenever the reverse gear is engaged. This can be engaged safely only after the vehicle stops moving. This is why you get to hear grinding noise when you engage the reverse gear when the car is moving forward. It is also true for putting forward gears from reverse gear.
“Driving at a higher gear at low engine RPM saves a lot of fuel.” It is a myth that may damage your transmission and engine. It is called the engine lugging. Using a higher gear means that the ratio of gears is taller, which is why the engine has to work more to move the car forward. To put it into a simpler version, higher gear has a lower number of teeth, which is how it allows the engine to be at lower RPM at a higher speed. However, driving at a slower speed and keeping higher gear engaged will put massive pressure on the engine and it can damage the vehicle badly.